NFL News & Analysis

10 most surprising performances from NFL Week 3

Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) gets set to throw a first-half TD pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) against the Steelers, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. Brownssteelers 29

DeVante Parker finally shows out: The former Miami Dolphin had been quiet through two weeks, but his 156 yards on five targets in Week 3 put those concerns to rest.

Khalil Herbert expertly leads Bears' backfield: Following David Montgomery‘s exit due to injury, Herbert shined with 132 yards after contact and seven forced missed tackles.

Double-digit pressures for Josh AllenThe second-year edge rusher didn't record a sack but lived in the Chargers' backfield with relentless pressure on quarterback Justin Herbert.

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QB Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

Brissett has gotten better every week for the Browns. After a rough Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, he has clearly grown more comfortable in the offense.

His primetime performance in Week 3 against the Steelers earned him a 92.5 overall grade, making it the highest-graded game of his career.

Brissett finished with a 79.3% adjusted completion rate and did a fantastic job of not holding the ball too long. He was also excellent in the red zone, throwing two touchdowns despite tough coverage. His touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku might have been his best throw of the season.

Through three games, he is now PFF’s third-highest-graded quarterback, behind only Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. While that seems unsustainable, Brissett has still led the Browns to a 2-1 record and tied for the division lead in the AFC North.


WR DeVante Parker, New England Patriots

Parker was shut out against the Steelers in Week 2 despite running the second-most routes on the team, behind only Jakobi Meyers. The former first-round pick had just one catch for nine yards through the first two games of the season.

But he broke out in Week 3, catching five passes for 156 yards on 10 targets. It was the second-most receiving yards in a game of his career (159 vs. Eagles in 2019) as he finally clicked with Mac Jones.

It will be tough for Parker to repeat this performance in New England anytime soon as Jones deals with an ankle injury. But it's clear he can still play and be a downfield threat for the Patriots.


RB Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears

Herbert performs exceptionally well every chance he gets. So maybe he doesn't belong on the list, but we are putting him here anyway. Herbert entered the game after David Montgomery went down with a lower-body injury, and there was no drop-off in play. In fact, Herbert was better.

Herbert carried the ball 20 times for 157 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also added two receptions for 12 yards, totaling 169 yards on just 22 touches. What makes Herbert so good is his ability to make plays after contact. In Week 3, he totaled 132 yards after contact and forced seven missed tackles.

There have now been five games in Herbert’s career where he has totaled double-digit carries. In those five games, he’s averaging over 100 yards per contest. Needless to say, he’s one of the best backup running backs in the NFL and deserves an extended look as the starter in Chicago.


WR Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders

When the Raiders signed Hollins this offseason, the belief was that he was firmly competing for a roster spot. And if he made the team, it would be as a special teamer. But through three games, he now leads the Raiders in receiving yards (240) and is second in receptions (14).

Before Week 3, Hollins had never had a game in his NFL career with 75 or more receiving yards. Against the Titans, he caught eight of his 10 targets for 158 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown grab cut the Titans' lead to two before the Raiders ultimately failed to convert the two-point try.

Hollins has given the Raiders' offense some big-play potential that it has desperately lacked. He recorded three explosive receptions (15 or more yards) and two contested catches that resulted in first downs in the Week 3 game. He's been a revelation for the Raiders, as they needed someone to step up opposite Davante Adams this season.


DT Jordan Davis, Philadelphia Eagles

Davis is a first-round pick with rare size and athleticism, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he is making plays for the Eagles. But how he is doing it lands him on this list. During his college career at Georgia, Davis never had more than three pressures in a game. There were also only four instances where he recorded two or more hurries in a single game.

Against the Washington Commanders in Week 4, Davis was a monster as a pass-rusher. He recorded four pressures — all hurries — against Washington, finishing the game with a 35.7% pass-rush win rate. To put that into perspective, his highest pass-rush win percentage as a senior (in a single game) was 21.1% versus Clemson.

Davis did not record a pressure in the first two games of the season, but it's clear he is starting to figure things out in Philadelphia. If he can continue to rack up pressures and dominate against the run, he’ll be one of the league’s most valuable defensive tackles in no time.


OG Robert Hunt, Miami Dolphins

Facing one of the NFL’s best pass rushes, the Miami offensive line held up well against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. The best offensive lineman for the Dolphins on Sunday was Hunt, who got the start at right guard.

He did not allow a single pressure, which is incredible considering his opponent. But Hunt is on this list because of how dominant he was as a run-blocker. He was the team’s highest-graded run-blocker in Week 3, finishing the game with a 93.3 grade in that facet. His overall grade for the week came in at 94.3, leading the team.

The Dolphins' offensive line certainly isn't the best in the league, or anything close to it. But the performances from Terron Armstead, Connor Williams and Hunt have made this a respectable unit. And that is certainly a big upgrade from where the Dolphins were last season.


OT Max Mitchell, New York Jets

After the injuries to Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown, fourth-round pick Max Mitchell has started the past three games for the Jets at right tackle. His first two outings were a bit of a struggle, allowing a sack in each game and giving up eight total pressures.

But Mitchell bounced back in a big way in Week 3, as he did not allow a sack on 58 pass-block snaps. Mitchell surrendered just two pressures overall, including one quarterback hit, but that is a far more respectful performance from the former Louisiana offensive tackle. Mitchell also finished the game with a 72.1 run-blocking grade, the highest of his short career.

Time will tell if Mitchell is the Jets' right tackle of the future, but they have to be encouraged after his continued improvement and strong performance in Week 3.


EDGE Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars

Allen made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, so we shouldn’t be too surprised when he has a big game. But what he did on Sunday to the Chargers was about as impressive as it gets for a player who did not record a sack.

Allen played 39 pass-rush snaps and recorded an incredible 10 pressures. It was the first time in his NFL career that he recorded double-digit pressures in a single game. In addition, he posted a remarkable 30.8% pass-rush win rate en route to his six hurries and four quarterback hits.

If the duo of Allen and Travon Walker can continue to play this well, the Jaguars will have a real chance to steal the AFC South.


S Richie Grant, Atlanta Falcons

Grant was a second-round pick by the Falcons in the 2021 NFL Draft and had a rough rookie season. He finished the year with a 58.4 overall grade after allowing a 131.7 passer rating in coverage. The first two games of the 2022 season were more of the same, but he had a breakout performance in Week 3 against the Seahawks.

Grant played 46 coverage snaps on Sunday, allowing just three yards on two targets. He also recorded the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter on an overthrow by Geno Smith. He still has a long way to go before becoming an impactful player for the Falcons, but his 86.4 grade on Sunday was easily the highest of his career. Maybe this is a sign of things to come for the second-year safety out of UCF.


S Josh Metellus, Minnesota Vikings

With Harrison Smith out due to a concussion, third-year safety Josh Metellus got the start for the Vikings in Week 3. Before this game against the Lions, he had played just 10 total defensive snaps over the first two games in 2022. And in the first two years of his career, Metellus played a combined 70 defensive snaps.

Metellus nearly matched that combined number in Week 3, as he was on the field for all 78 defensive snaps for the Vikings. He finished as the team's second-highest-graded defender (82.7), behind only Danielle Hunter.

Metellus recorded nine tackles and two stops. He was also excellent in coverage, allowing just 23 total yards on five targets and snagging his first career interception on a Hail Mary throw by Jared Goff at the end of the game. While it wasn’t the prettiest or most exciting interception, it sealed the comeback win for the Vikings.

Smith should return to the lineup next week or shortly after that, but Metellus' play in relief should give Minnesota a lot of confidence in its young safety should Smith miss more time.

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